Represent an intelligent species developing technologies, economics, politics, and consciousness in Bios:Origins Second Edition.
Represent an entrepreneur of the near-future and solve the challenges of humanity in Pax Transhumanity.
Represent a powerful Hacendado and try to seize power in Mexico during the Mexican revolution in Pax Porfiriana.
Three Iconic games, with the highest game design craftsmanship behind them, including variants for solo play, co-op play and campaign play, in a Kickstarter with a generous set of Stretch goals.
We are also making a small reprint run of first two games in the Bios:Trilogy. You can add them as add-ons to any pledge (except AUDIENCE and SUPPORTER), by adding USD 39 for each Bios:Genesis you want and USD 74 for each Bios:Megafauna you want. No extra shipping fee for this!
Sierra Madre Games and Ion Game Design (Ion/SMG) proudly presents two new games and a highly requested reprint. This is Ion/SMG:s first "track-release". Our plan is to run two Kickstarter campaigns per year, separated in two tracks, named after when the Kickstarter Campaigns are launched. The Essen track Kickstarter will launch during Essen, on the Sunday of the fair. The Birthday track Kickstarter will launch on Phil’s birthday, March 31.
This kickstarter is the "Ion/SMG 2018 Essen Track". It contains the new game Pax Transhumanity, by Matt Eklund, and the 2nd ed. of Bios:Origins, by Phil Eklund and Jon Manker. We also want to give you backers an opportunity to get Phil Eklund's Pax Porfiriana, which is one of Sierra Madre Games more popular games that has been out of print for some time.
Note that none of the art in the images or videos shown in this campaign page are the final version. They may remain the way they are shown here and they may be changed.
This is the 3rd and final game of the Bios trilogy. We have reworked the game Origins from ground up, keeping its bottom-up take on civilization games, but with new features to integrate it with the arc from the predecessor games Bios:Genesis and Bios:Megafauna (second edition). The old Origins had dice, these are gone, but the classic map is retained.
New is a hexgrid, found on the back of the map board, for building custom maps. This can be used to recreate the cratons from an end state of Bios:Megafauna (second edition) if you are playing a trilogy campaign game.
The technology tracks remain, and one new one added, for Information technology, tracking the evolution from storytelling to the Internet.
The cards have been sorted in categories of Culture, Politics, and Industry, and a Market has been added. Designers: Phil Eklund & Jon Manker.
In the game designer Matt Eklund's own words: Pax Transhumanity is a game about idea development in a non-dystopian near future. In traditional Pax-style, the players have access to a marketplace of ideas to compete over.
Unlike other Pax games, there are no hands or tableaux in the traditional sense. The players’ goal is to invest in viable ideas and use infrastructure to release them to the world. Once an idea is commercialized it becomes part of the human progress splay, becoming part of human history and making other ideas viable. It will also likely generate growth (new cubes), solve humanitarian problems (VP chits), or break down barriers (place company disks).
Player cubes represent income streams. You move the cubes around your finance board to generate money to perform actions. Some actions require you to move cubes from your board onto infrastructure or onto ideas in the market, denoting a continued investment in them. Often you will divest from ideas or infrastructure that are promising and valuable but not immediately needed, in order to free up the funding for a new venture.
In the early game, viable ideas are few and far between. Great efforts will have to be taken to research the correct patents and setup the correct infrastructure to commercialize the first few ideas. Early on, players will primarily finance their efforts by using fundraising actions to move cubes into higher tiers on their finance board. Later in the game, as patents become more and more valuable, players will be able to sell them to generate a large but temporary influx of money to fund their efforts.
More options become available. As the progress splay increases in size, more and more market ideas become viable for commercialization. As more cards are commercialized, more barriers are removed making actions cheaper. New spheres (card rows) may be unlocked. The game accelerates.
The types of cards in the progress splay also determine the current regime, with different combinations making certain actions easier for all players. Game ending trigger ideas (tipping points) populate the bottom half of the deck, and may lock humanity’s future into a particular sphere. Will humanity’s future be defined by improved political and social mechanisms that enfranchise the individual and harness their potential? Will society instead be dominated by biological elitists, exploring the full range of what genetic modification has to offer? Or will biology fall by the wayside as we embrace virtual worlds and artificial intelligences? Or will we instead focus our efforts on nanotechnology and space colonization, and lay claim to the high frontier?
Pax Porfiriana – Latin for "The Porfirian Peace" – refers to the 33-year reign of dictator Porfirio Díaz, who ruled Mexico with an iron hand until toppled by the 1910 Revolution.
As a rich businessman (Hacendado) in the turbulent pre-revolutionary borderlands of the U.S. and Mexico, players compete to build business empires of ranches, mines, rails, troops, and banks while subverting opponents with bandidos, Indians, and lawsuits.
Your overarching interest in all your investments is to gather enough prestige in the form of backers and justification in order to be able to seize power during one of the periodic times of turmoil where the leadership of the country is hanging on by a thread.
The prestige are linked to cards you invest but can also be rewarded if one of your assets is attacked. And you can if you feel the need for it attack your own assets, which would be like assassinating your trusted partner or inciting and financing a revolt that destroys one of your own ranches or mines and the workers life there. A so called "strawman".
The prestige you gain come in four flavors: Loyalty, which is support to the ruling dictator, Command, which is supporting local militias and forming a local military regime in northern Mexico, Revolution, which is with the communist streams in Mexico and aim to join the strong revolutionary movements in the world at the time and Outrage, which is liaison with the US and try to get them to invade parts of, or all of Mexico and installing you as the future president there.
Will you be able to chose the right allies and be deceitful enough to prevail as the new ruler of Mexico?
Pax Porfiriana is one of Sierra Madre Games most popular games ever and has been out of print for some time. It has more than 200 cards, all representing an actual part of the history of the Mexican revolution. Each game you only your 60-80 of these which give the game a great replayability. There are some minor changes to the rules, a couple of cards, but otherwise this is a straight up 2nd edition. If you are interested in this thrilling times of American-Mexican history, be sure to grab Pax Porfiriana before it sells out again.
In these play-through videos, Phil Eklund conveys his thoughts behind the games and explains in his own entertaining way (to which those who have met him can attest) how the games are played on the whole, interspersed with plenty of details.
About the games with Phil and Jon
Play through with Phil:
Play through of the Add-On Games:
Bios:Megafauna (second edition) by Heavy Cardboard
If you want to receive 1 copy of the game Bios:Origins (second edition) and 1 copy of the game Pax Transhumanity and 1 copy of the game Pax Porfiriana 2nd Deluxe Edition, including all stretch goals that apply to Bios Origins (second edition), to Pax Transhumanity and to Pax Porfiriana 2nd Deluxe Edition (= ALL stretch goals in the campaign), then back the COLLECTOR level.
If you want to receive 1 copy of the game Bios:Origins (second edition) and 1 copy of the game Pax Porfiriana 2nd Deluxe Edition, including all stretch goals that apply to Bios Origins (second edition) and to Pax Porfiriana 2nd Deluxe Edition, then back the HISTORIAN level.
If you want to receive 1 copy of the game Bios:Origins (second edition) and 1 copy of the game Pax Transhumanity, including all stretch goals that apply to Bios Origins (second edition) and to Pax Transhumanity, then back the EKLUNDIAN level.
If you want to receive 1 copy of the game Pax Transhumanity and 1 copy of the game Pax Porfiriana 2nd Deluxe Edition, including all stretch goals that apply to Pax Transhumanity and to Pax Porfiriana 2nd Deluxe Edition, then back the PAXIAN level.
If you want to receive 1 copy of the game Bios: Origins (second edition), including all stretch goals that apply to Bios:Origins (second edition), then back the BIOS:ORIGINS (SECOND EDITION) level.
If you want to receive 1 copy of the game Pax Porfiriana, including all stretch goals that apply to Pax Porfiriana, then back the PAX PORFIRIANA level.
If you want to receive 1 copy of the game Pax Transhumanity, including all stretch goals that apply to Pax Transhumanity, then back the PAX TRANSHUMANITY level.
If you do not want to receive the games but still want to show appreciation to Phil Eklund and the games he creates as well as to Sierra Madre Games and Ion Game Design's effort to turn these into published games, to be spread and played throughout the world, then back the SUPPORTER level.
If you want to stay updated about this campaign but do not want to back any of the other levels, then back the AUDIENCE level
If you want to add copies of Bios: Origins and/or Bios: Megafauna 2 then increase your pledge with 39 USD for Bios: Genesis and/or 74 USD for Bios: Megafauna 2, which you can do through "Manage your pledge" and then "Change your pledge" and raise your total pledge with the amount for that game/games you want as add-ons.
Our flat shipping rate apply to the add ons-as well, so you can add any number of Bios: Megafauna 2 and/or Bios: Genesis without any extra shipping costs!
After this Kickstarter there will (as always) be a backer survey. In this survey, it is important that you tell us how many of each of Megafauna and Genesis you have added as an add-on.
For those of you who would like to immerse yourselves in the details of the games you can find the living rules to all here.
The rules for Pax Porfiriana is also available there in the following languages: German, French and Spanish.
The prototype of Bios:Origins (second edition) is available as a Vassal module, constantly being changed since there are still tweaks being done on that game. The most recent version of that module can be found here.
”With six potential endings to achieve, the game ensures a level of versatility which allows for different outcomes with each new playthrough.” - OnTableTop
”if you’ve got the heart and the guts, Pax Porfiriana pays out in spades. It’s soaked through with malice, brains, and a whole stinking bottle of mescal. And that’s totally a good thing.” - Space-Biff!
”Theme is everywhere. Just about every card is unique in some way and just about every card has a thematically justifiable reason it has the effects it does. There's plenty of great games to be wrung out of a simple deck of cards, but few of them come anywhere close to telling the story that a game of Pax does.” - PJ Killian
”Pax P. eludes the standard classification eurogame-ameritrash and it represent for Sierra Madre Games of Phil Eklund a modern version of their games, or better simulation, able to concentrate in 2 hours 30 years of history.” - Lorenzo Pacq
Game production will be overseen by Sierra Madre Games and Ion Game Design, with Panda Games manufacturing. Sierra Madre Games has extensive experience of producing games, and their eye for quality and responsiveness to players who purchase their games are hallmarks of the company. Ion Game Design has a solid competence in the boardgame publishing and manufacturing filed and share Sierra Madre Games devotion towards quality and providing the best possible games to players.
The games will be shipped and delivered from the manufacturer Panda Games to our two fulfillment centers once mass production is completed. The transport from manufacturer to our Hong Kong based fulfillment center Floship takes about 1 week and thereafter it takes about 2 weeks before the shipping to backer starts. The shipping from manufacturer to our German fulfilment center Aimplify takes about 7 weeks and thereafter about 2 weeks before shipping to backers start. Note, these are only estimations based on information from fulfillment centers.
There will not be a retailer and distributor reward level during this campaign. If you are a retailer or distributor and interested in securing copies of Bios:Origins (second edition), Pax Transhumanity and/or the reprint of Pax Porfiriana Collectors Edition, then please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get the pre-order prices and information about how to place an order.
Phil Eklund has designed an array of games in addition to Bios:Origins (second edition) and Pax Porfiriana, which you can back in this campaign, he is also the game designer of games such as High Frontier, Pax Emancipation, Greenland, Neanderthal and of course the two first parts of the Bios:Trilogy, Bios:Megafauna (second edition) and Bios:Genesis. As a game designer he is a true auteur, and his games are instantly recognizable. He constructs immensely rich game worlds, often with simple, basic mechanics which attain improbable depth owing to the myriad avenues of interaction between the games' components. Phil Eklund's games always maintain a link to the real word in that the games draw inspiration from scientific or historical facts.
Jon Manker is Lead Game Designer at Ion Game Design. He is co designer with Phil on Bios:Origins (second edition) and was also co designer on Bios:Megafauna (second edition). Jon and Phil share many ambitions and values when it comes to game design, in particular the connection between game mechanics, balance and the real world. Jon also acts as a sounding board for Phil in the work to adapt games prior to new editions. Apart from working on games together with Phil, Jon also design his own boardgames, such as Expedition Zetta and HIRÞ.
Matthew Eklund is the game designer of Pax Transhumanity. He is also the son of Phil Eklund and as such has become an avid boardgame designer himself. He has collaborated with Phil on several previous projects, such as Pax Renaissance and he also designed several games on his own, such as Krieg bot. In addition to this he was part of the effort in creating the first version of Pax Porfiriana. Matt lives in Arizona where he pursues a successful career as a public prosecutor.
Besime Uyanik has served as Project Manager on three successful Kickstarter campaigns and has been the CEO of Ion Game Design for the last few years. She has a great deal of past managerial experience in various international ventures and projects, and has phenomenal talent when it comes to structuring and efficacy. Thus far, all the projects in which she has been involved have proved hugely successful, and have always kept to budget.
Leo Borg has extensive Kickstarter experience, both as a backer of numerous projects and as an employee in many campaigns. He serves in top positions in several Swedish board game communities on social media and has worked at countless gaming conventions. Leo is also the founder of the SmashCon gaming convention which since many years is held annually in Stockholm.
Karim Chakroun is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and sculptor. He started working on Sierra Madre Games with the second edition of Greenland, and also work on some of our manufacturing supervision.
Johanna Westerlund is a freelance illustrator and full-time multitasker. She has created a large amount of Bios:Origins' illustrations, and her involvement in the project stems from previous collaborations with Ion Game Design.
Sabah Oliviero is a Graphic Design and Product Design student. She’s keen on board games and, waiting to reach the bachelor’s degree, she’s an intern at Ion Game Design for two great months of work.
Risks and challenges
When you pledge on Kickstarter you put your trust in a project long before it is completed and you contribute, with this trust, to making BIOS:Origins (second edition) and Pax Transhumanity a reality. We value that kind of trust and we value the model of Kickstarter too. It is built on trust Sierra Madre Games and Ion Game Design will honor that model and prove our trustworthiness in delivering the games to you, as we did with our previous successful Kickstarter campaign Neanderthal & Greenland.
Having said that, here are a few thoughts on the game and on production issues.
- Although we have the best laid out plans and a time line there might be bumps in the road since there is so many different external partners, such as manufacturer and fulfillment centers.
- Sierra Madre Games & Ion Game Design is run by very experienced staff. We have a clear understanding about responsibility, quality and professionalism. We feel confident that we will be able to tackle any bumps on the production road and we will keep you updated about the process along the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)